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Cookware Selection

Posted by cookie08 (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 20, 08 at 23:00

I'm new to GW. I was able to select all my appliances because I hung out here and read and read and read. Next was cookware. I've looked at several sites including Consumer Reports and narrowed it down to 1 practical set, and one if money is no object set:

Practical for me because I rarely cook. Oatmeal, Hamburger Helper, Chicken Alfredo, really basic stuff

Revere Non Stick Stainless Steel Cookware Set (includes steamer). I like this set because it has no spill pour spouts & steam vents, it is oven safe, it has soft grip handles, the lids have glass inserts, it is dishwasher safe, and the price is $169.

The more expensive selection is: Calphalon Contemporary Stainless Cookware Set, 13 Pc. I like it because it has glass lids, it is oven safe, lots of open stock pans to choose from including a grill pan. The cost is $600 for the set. Pretty, but not practical for the little cooking I do.

Thanks everyone for all the info. Next on to 'bathrooms'.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cookware Selection

First, welcome to GW. You'll find a lot of helpful people here with just a few jerks :)

Before you shell out a bunch of money for cookware, think about what you want to accomplish. If the tasks you are asking of it are simple, there's no need to spend a lot of money. You can get a decent Wolfgang Puck set at Sam's for under $200. That Revere ware set you mentioned might be all you need.

But before you buy, do yourself a favor and read the rather long but very informative article at the link. It covers the topic of stovetop cookware with great detail and precision. If you read through that and retain just 10% of it, you'll still be more knowledgeable than the average kitchen store salesperson.

Now, here are my opinions. Take them for what they are, opinions. I would never buy a 'set' of cookware. Even though the cost per article MAY be less than open stock, invariably there are a few items that you won't use. For instance, I have a really good Cuisinart stainless set. Love the stockpot and saucepans, hate the skillets so I never use the skillets. So any saving from buying the set gets negated by the fact that I don't use the skillets.

Think about the tasks you are asking the items to do, and shop for items which do those tasks well.

Now if you're not gonna do a whole lot of cooking, it makes sense not to spend a whole lot on cookware. But if you think you might try to progress beyond simple stuff (and don't be ashamed, we all started cooking simple stuff) it would be worthwhile to get decent cookware to begin with. The analogy would be to getting a musical instrument. While a great musician can make good music on a modest instrument, a cheapo instrument will frustrate the student and impede his progress.

Here is a link that might be useful: stovetop cookware


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RE: Cookware Selection

If you need non-stick type of cookware, do like many of us did, buy cast iron cookware. They're healthier and are not hard to maintain. Not to mention, cast iron cookwares are inexpensive too. You can purchase them online, at your local Wal-mart or even at Academy (camping section).

If you do a search on this forum, you'll find plenty of instructions on how to clean, season and cure them. Although, cast iron cookware also comes pre-seasoned and ready to use.

I love my cast irons cookware. Now, I'm collecting cast iron bakeware.


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RE: Cookware Selection

If you need non-stick type of cookware, do like many of us did, buy cast iron cookware.

I assume you're talking regular cast iron and not ceramic. We have a couple cast iron skillets and love them for searing. But I would not recommend them as an equivalent to nonstick, especially to a novice cook or to someone not familiar with the proper use and care of cast iron.


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RE: Cookware Selection

To cure cast iron cookware is a simple procedure and anyone, whether a pro or a beginner cook, can do it. I've learned this from other members at Gardenweb.

To cure, not seasoned, cast iron cookware: Apply a thin layer of oil or preferably shortening, (I use Crisco all veggies shortening), all over the cookware, bake in the oven at 450F degree for 1 hour. Repeat this procedure several times (4-5 times). Remember to apply a 'thin' coat of oil.

The result is a dark shiny coating that would last and last. It becomes truly non-stick and you can even wash it with soap. The main thing to remember is not to wash cast iron when it's still hot and to towel it dry after washing.

What's so hard about this?


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RE: Cookware Selection

What's so hard about this?

Well, let's see. Our novice cook, as the OP here describes himself or herself, can buy cast iron and season it according to your instructions, use it for a while, and eventually it should develop a coating that will be reasonably nonstick.

Or that novice cook, or anyone else, can simply buy a nonstick pan. Seems like a no-brainer, especially for someone who wants "Practical for me because I rarely cook. Oatmeal, Hamburger Helper, Chicken Alfredo, really basic stuff."

As I said, I have a couple cast iron skillets -- great for searing. But for cooking foods like eggs or sticky oatmeal or anything else that would be very difficult to clean, I use a nonstick skillet or pan. For the rest, I mostly use SS or infused anodized -- or enameled cast iron for slow cooking.


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RE: Cookware Selection

Seems like your cast iron skillets are not cured. Preseasoned is not the same coating as a cured cast iron cookware. Try the method I posted and you will see a huge difference.

My cast iron skillets are no less than the non-stick teflon coating cookware. I cook eggs of all sorts all the time with no sticking and easy cleaning. In a matter of fact, I just cooked an omelette yesterday and a sunny side up the day before. I seem to inherit my dad's fond of eggs. I always have to have eggs in my fridge and cook them any time of the day.

It is healthier to use cast irons because you get iron supplement from it when you cook with it. Plus, when need to, I can use high heat without worrying whether it's poisoning my body or not. (ie: I can sear the meat and finish it in the oven or I can fry food in it.)

True, it is his or her choice whether to use them or not. This is only my 2 cents worth that I'd like to share. I'm not forcing anything on anyone.


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RE: Cookware Selection

I am the defacto chef at home and have started researching cookware, starting with the materials. I have to agree with getting cast iron cookware. It is very versatile and inexpensive compared to the other choices and with proper care it can be passed on to the next generation(s).


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RE: Cookware Selection

True, it is his or her choice whether to use them or not. This is only my 2 cents worth that I'd like to share. I'm not forcing anything on anyone.

Of course.

What I've found is that some, not all, of those who like cast iron become very zealous about it. I like having different materials for different purposes. And my two cents, especially given the opening post to this thread, is that for cooking sticky food, a couple pieces of nonstick cookware would be ideal.

There is no need to use high heat for cooking eggs or oatmeal or sauces or anything else where you want easy release and easy clean-up, so I have no qualms about the nonstick surface. In fact, I've yet to read any credible, unbiased source that leads me to be fearful of the normal use of nonstick in general.

And a bonus is that nonstick pans are not nearly as heavy as cast iron.


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